I pretend not to hear him, although mentally I wished him a monkey fucking. ~Roberto Bolaño
How we react to conflict is frequently a behavior birthed from our family of origin and is heavily influenced by the culture in which we were raised. My father’s advice as I moved into challenging situations was two-fold. The first maxim, ignore the little shit. The 2nd, it’s all little shit. There was also a corollary, ignore the problem and it will simply go away.
For the most part, the advice has served me well…for the most part. I tend to view the majority of perceived ‘affronts’ as little shit, tiny baby turds falling off me quickly with barely needing to pinch the loaf. They slink off with the ease of a snake gliding in water leaving the barest of imprints swirled in my shorts.
Aside from ‘little shit’ there are real issues. I would love to address these and the person causing me grief with a good Monkey Fucking, a Monkey Dick in their ear. But I turn passive and try to ignore the situation. I have also learned the crappy skill of passive aggressiveness. I try to pretend the large shadows swimming beneath the surfboard does not exist until it inevitably implodes and bites off a chunk of my soul leaving me to thrash in agony.
It has been difficult but I have grown some ability to openly address conflict and the associated emotions churning inside. I still have long, long way to go before it is my goto behavior for managing conflict.